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Two days, two car chases for Anchorage police

Suzanna CaldwellAlaska Dispatch News
Police arrested an Anchorage man on a probation violation after he led officers on a short chase through South Anchorage neighborhoods on Monday. Loren Holmes photo

Another day, another car chase in Alaska’s largest city. Anchorage Police arrested Mumaina Folasa, 26, Monday morning after the suspect led officers on a brief chase through south Anchorage.

The incident started at about 1:46 a.m. in the area of West 88th Ave. and Jewel Lake Road when officers spotted a Dodge pickup that had been reported stolen Sunday morning. When the officer turned on his lights and sirens to pull the driver over, Folasa sped away.

A pursuit ensued, during which the vehicle entered a bike path, went through a homeowner's yard, pushed through a chain link fence, ran several stop signs and nearly hit a pedestrian -- all while traveling an estimated 60 mph, according to Anchorage police.

The vehicle ran out of gas on Curlew Circle, where Folasa fled on foot. K-9 officer Lars Tulip and his dog, Chance, tracked Folasa to a small storage closet behind a home off of Arlene Street. When Chance began barking, Folasa surrendered. He denied stealing the vehicle and said he ran from police because he was on probation.

Folasa was charged with Theft 2, Vehicle Theft, Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance 4, Reckless Driving, Assault 3, Failure to Stop at the Direction of an Officer, Criminal Mischief 3, and a Probation Violation. He was booked into the Anchorage Jail, with bail set at $10,000 plus a third-party custodian.

Folasa's chase is the second in almost as many days. Three people were arrested Saturday morning after leading officers on an early morning chase through East Anchorage.

Two officers fired at the vehicle after the driver drove toward a patrol car, striking it as it pushed past. No one was injured in the incident.

Anchorage Police Department policy mandates an investigation by the state Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals whenever an officer’s weapon is discharged.

Police spokeswoman Anita Shell said car chases with police are not uncommon, though generally they are short. At the time of both chases, traffic was fairly light. 

Contact Suzanna Caldwell at suzanna(at)alaskadispatch.com

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